FlyBase:Fly Board

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Fly Board Mission Statement

The Drosophila Board (“Fly Board”) is a group of researchers and educators who represent the Drosophila community to further its interests in research, education, and public outreach. The Fly Board currently comprises 21 elected representatives and 22 ex officio members; the latter represent various fly-community resources and/or the Genetics Society of America (GSA). The Fly Board strives to ensure and promote equal opportunity and diversity of all types amongst its members and the community it serves. The mission of the Fly Board is to: 1) Advocate for the Drosophila research community by representing its interests to funding agencies, other scientific organizations, and the general public; 2) Facilitate transparent, productive relationships between the research community and resources such as FlyBase, Drosophila stock centers, groups maintaining and distributing other Drosophila research-related materials, and groups developing Drosophila research tools and information resources; 3) Promote education and career development in Drosophila genetics and biology at all levels; 4) Ensure a successful annual North American Drosophila Research Conference in conjunction with the GSA; 5) Administer funds and awards for this Conference, such as the Larry Sandler Memorial Lecture Award(s), travel awards for students and trainees, and the Drosophila Image Award.


The Fly Board maintains an email list for occasional communication with active fly Principal Investigators/Group Leaders.  If you want to be included in the Fly Board’s email list please sign up for the FlyBase newsletter.

Each year the FlyBoard has important information to share with the Drosophila community. This communication is important, not only so that members can stay abreast of important resource developments and community elections, but also in unusual cases where the community needs to be mobilized for advocacy purposes. The current email list depends on self-enrollment for the FlyBase newsletter or attendance at a recent ADRC, and reaches only a fraction of the community; it also contains many individuals who no longer work with Drosophila

The FlyBoard has decided to add a new element that may increase the reach and sustainability of communication.   In addition to maintaining current arrangements, the Board will solicit an email list of PIs or their equivalents, who maintain accounts at the Bloomington stock center (other stock centers will follow).  Each PI/Equivalent will be asked by Bloomington to ‘opt-in’ to receive a handful of important emails from the Board annually. 

Every effort will be made to limit emails, but these will include information about:

  • -annual FlyBoard election announcement
  • -annual FlyNews from FlyBoard President
  • -time-sensitive critical advocacy information (e.g. Model Organism Database support letter)
  • -major changes to widely-used Drosophila resources (e.g. Flybase, stock centers)

PIs/Equivalents will be asked to distribute this information to their trainees/employees, through simple email forwarding. 

The Board recognizes that some fly workers may prefer to receive information directly, and also that some fly community PIs/Equivalents do not maintain Bloomington stock center accounts.  Those individuals can sign up directly for FlyBase Newsletter; FlyBoard communications will be sent to these addresses as well.

Rules of Charter


Over time, the Drosophila research community has experienced significant expansion. New activities, with potentially dramatic impact on the community as a whole, have been initiated by various individuals. In recognition of these facts and to ensure and facilitate inter-communal communication, some changes to the Drosophila Board are warranted. The present document embodies these changes and provides a historical framework for the benefit of newer community members.

A Short History of the Drosophila Board

The Drosophila community has held an annual research conference for more than 50 years. In the early days of the group, the community was small and less than a hundred individuals would attend these meetings, which could therefore be organized in an informal fashion. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, however, the community had grown to such an extent that attendance at the conference was typically over 1000 individuals. Consequently, organization of the conference became an overwhelming task for any one individual, and the University dormitory housing traditionally used for the meetings became inadequate. Furthermore, meeting registration fees exceeded expenditure, and moneys began to accumulate. As the number of conference attendees and as the fund increased, and when the housing for the conference was moved to commercial hotels, questions of personal liability began to trouble the individual organizers. It was at this point that Linda Hall and Dan Lindsley suggested the creation of a Drosophila Board and drew up an agreement with the administrative offices of the Genetics Society of America (GSA) to run the annual meetings. The agreement with the GSA offered two advantages: (1) the administrative details would be handled by professionals, and meeting cancellation insurance could be more readily obtained, (2) the Drosophila fund could be held in trust by the GSA to help defray meeting costs, while avoiding IRS problems for individual scientific program organizers. When, following his untimely death, the Larry Sandler Memorial Lecture Fund was established, the GSA agreed to set up and manage a separate account for this fund.

During the first few years, the Board was made up of individuals who had been actively involved in organizing previous conferences with an attempt to include members from across the U.S. and Canada so that the board would represent the interests of the entire North American Drosophila research community. More recently, International representatives were added to facilitate communication and coordination of Drosophila resource efforts throughout the world.

Composition of the Drosophila Board

The Drosophila Board is a representative group of working scientists who use Drosophila as their primary model organism.

The Board meets once a year in conjunction with the North American Drosophila Research Conference. Additional business is conducted by email, and, if necessary, by telephone or video conferences.


The Drosophila Board will have a President, elected by the community, who will serve for one year as President elect and for one year as President. To ensure long-term memory of the Board, the President will serve three additional years, as "past-President", "past-past President" then "Member-At-Large" in sequential years. The President-elect and Past Presidents will be actively involved in providing leadership to the Fly Board by providing assistance, advice, and counsel to the President.

The Drosophila Board will have an elected Treasurer who will serve for three years.

Regional Representatives

The Board consists of one elected Representative from each of the following regions of the U.S. and Canada:

New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island)
Mid-Atlantic (Downstate New York, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia)
Southeast (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Puerto Rico)
Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri)
Great Lakes (Upstate New York, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Michigan)
Heartland (Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas)
Mountain (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Alaska)
California (California, Hawaii)
Canada (Canada)

In addition, there will be a representative for:

Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (U.S.)

as well as International Representatives from each of the following regions:




Latin America

These delegates will be elected, and serve for a term of three years. If it is not possible to find two interested candidates in a region, a single candidate may instead be appointed by the board. The board is open to potential changes in international representation, or differences in the manner of selection of international representatives.

There shall also be a Trainee Representative (Senior graduate student or Post-doctoral researcher), who shall serve for a term of 2 years. The Trainee representative shall be selected by the elections committee from among interested candidates.

Ex officio members

The following individuals from the research community (or their designated representative) will serve on the Board as ex officio members:

  • The Director of FlyBase, and the chair of the FlyBase SAB
  • The Director of the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project
  • The Director of the Bloomington Stock Center
  • The Directors of other major national and international Drosophila stock centers, including the Drosophila Species Stock Center, the VDRC, and the Kyoto DGGR
  • The Chairs of the Stock Center Advisory Committees
  • The Director of the DGRC
  • The PI of the Drosophila Gene Disruption Project
  • The Directors of the DRSC/TRiP
  • The Editor of DIS and
  • The current chair of the Sandler Memorial Lectureship selection committee
  • The current chair or a representative of the Image Award Committee
  • The Chairs of the Scientific Organizing committee of the previous, current, and upcoming North American National Drosophila Research Conference.
  • Leaders of other Drosophila community resource projects and centers, by invitation of the President
  • Any Drosophila researchers serving on the board of the GSA

The Board's discussion of community issues benefit from input from the entire community. It is the responsibility of the Regional Representatives to canvass Drosophila researchers residing in their regions so input can be obtained on major issues of concern. Advice from the ex officio members is invaluable and will be solicited on all Board issues. However, the Officers, including the Treasurer, and Regional Representatives, as the elected officials of the Board, constitute its voting body.


The Fly Board has made a strong commitment to truly represent the diverse community of researchers who work on Drosophila. To that end, we have started an Open Nomination Process for all elected positions on the Fly Board. We invite you to nominate people who you think would do a great job representing the fly community. Self-nominations are welcome. We especially encourage nominations of women and individuals from groups that have been historically underrepresented on the Fly Board, and faculty at any career stage are eligible. Although you must live and work in the region you represent, you can nominate individuals for any region and you can vote for representatives from all regions in the final elections.

Responsibilities of the Drosophila Board

The primary functions of the Board are:

1. 1 To serve as advocates for the Drosophila research community and represent community interests to funding agencies, other scientific organizations, and the general public. 2 To facilitate a free and productive relationship between the research community, the administrators of FlyBase, leaders of community resource and information projects, and the Directors of the Stock Centers. 3 To insure a successful annual North American Drosophila Research Conference. The Board selects the venue, based on recommendations from GSA. The President-elect appoints the chair of the Scientific Organizing committee for the next meeting to be organized (2-3 years in advance). 4 To administer the meeting fund of the Drosophila research community. 5 To administer awards, including the Larry Sandler Memorial Lecture fund, undergraduate travel awards, including the Victoria Finnerty Award, and the Image Award.

Responsibilities of the Drosophila Board Presidents:

President-elect elect – Attends the first meeting after being elected, to observe

President-elect (1) Takes the minutes at board meeting, circulates the minutes to the board by email so that they can be approved and posted on Flybase in a timely fashion. (2) Chooses the meeting organizers for the next Fly meeting to be planned.

President (3) Presides over the board meeting: solicits reports from the meeting organizers, GSA director, Treasurer, Sandler committee chair, Finnerty award chair, Image award chair, Elections committee, Communications committee, and all of the community resources and projects. (4) Writes “FlyNews” newsletter, updates fly community on resources, meetings, and other news, distributed ~ twice/year. (5) May be responsible for organizing writing of the next White Paper. (6) Writes letters of support for resource project proposals, on behalf of the fly community. These normally cite community support for the goals of the project by referring to the White Paper. (7) Updates the lists of plenary speakers, historical speakers, session chairs, Sandler award winners and selection committees, and sends copies to the next meeting organizers. (8) Reminds past-past-president that they need to run the next election in September. (9) Oversees formation of Drosophila board committees and assignment of members to these committees. (10) Addresses, with help and support of the Drosophila board, any other matters arising that affect the fly community.

Past-president (10) Aids current president and attends next meeting for continuity.

Past-past president (11) Selects and chairs Election Committee for the board, and organizes elections. Include in board meeting report the master list of board members, with their term limits. Submit this to Flybase.

Responsibilities of the Regional Representatives:

To effectively carry out the responsibilities of the Drosophila Board, standing committees may be formed, and each regional representative is encouraged to serve on at least one committee. These committees can also include non-board members. Possible committees include:

Advocacy: Develop and implement plans to advocate for Drosophila Research.

White Paper: Review and approve or update White Paper.

Infrastructure: Develop recommendations for new resources that would benefit the Drosophila community. Review annual reports of community resources that report to the Fly Board.

Community: Develop plans to enhance communication and exchange of information and resources among Drosophila researchers

Fly Meeting: Review organization of the North American Drosophila Conference, make recommendations for changes.

SAB: Support oversight of Drosophila resources and resource projects by serving on Scientific Advisory Boards.

The incoming President shall determine which committees need to be formed and encourage regional representatives to choose an appropriate assignment.

Meeting Site

The site of the annual Drosophila Research Conference will rotate in the following order: East, West, Center of the U.S.

This charter was prepared for the Board by Th. Kaufman and J. Lucchesi and was revised by the Board at its meetings on March 31, 1993, at the Town & Country Hotel, San Diego, CA, on April 5, 1995, at the Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA, by an electronic vote in February 2003, on March 20, 2003 at Chicago and on March 23, 2004 at Washington D.C., and July 2016 in Orlando, FL.

FlyBoard Policy Documents

Drosophila Service Award Policy (PDF)

Policy for Drosophila Reserve Fund - Trainee Awards (PDF)

Board Meetings

2024 minutes
2023 minutes
2022 minutes
2021 combined minutes
October 2020 minutes
July 2020 minutes
2019 minutes
2018 minutes
2017 minutes
2016 minutes
2015 minutes
2014 minutes
2013 minutes
2012 minutes
2011 minutes
2010 minutes
2009 minutes
2008 minutes
2007 minutes
2006 minutes
2005 minutes
2004 minutes
2003 minutes
2002 minutes
2001 minutes
2000 minutes
1998 minutes

The Drosophila Board 203-24

  • General contact:
  • Year indicates the last Fly Meeting through which Board Members will serve as Officers or Regional Reps.
  • Past-Presidents serve as members-at-large until the end of the indicated term.


Name Office Year E-mail
Eric Lai President-elect 2027
Sally Horne-Badovinac President (2024) 2026
Harmit Malik Past-President (2023) 2025
Michelle Arbeitman Past-Past-President (2022) 2024
Tin Tin Su Past-Past-Past-President (2021) 2023
Jessica Treisman Treasurer 2026

Regional Representatives

Name Region Year E-mail
Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez Canada 2027
Laura Musselman Great Lakes 2027
Laurel Raftery Mountain 2026
Don Fox Southeast 2027
Blake Riggs California 2025
Jocelyn MacDonald Heartland 2027
Barbara Mellone New England 2026
Hakeem Lawal Mid-Atlantic 2025
Daniela Drummond-Barbosa Midwest 2027

Primarily Undergraduate Institution Representative

Name Year E-mail
Ruth Johnson 2026

International Representatives

Name Region Year E-mail
Louise Cheng Australia/Oceania 2026
Mousumi Mutsuddi Asia 2025
Daria Siekhaus Europe 2025
John Ewer Latin America 2025

Postdoc and Student Representatives

Name Role Year Institution E-mail
Shyama Nandakumar Postdoc Representative 2026 University of Pittsburgh
Shefali Shefali Student Representative 2026 Indiana University

Ex Officio

Name Affiliation E-mail
Norbert Perrimon FlyBase
Susan Russo Gelbart FlyBase
Brian Calvi FlyBase
Susan Celniker BDGP
Kevin Cook Bloomington Stock Center & Nomenclature Committee
Cale Whitworth Bloomington Stock Center
Patrick O'Grady Drosophila Species Stock Center, Cornell
Jim Thompson DIS
Hugo Bellen Bloomington Stock Center Advisory Committee & P element project
Allan Spradling P-element project
Stephanie Mohr Director, DRSC/TRiP, Harvard
Jonathan Zirin Assistant Director, DRSC/TRiP, Harvard
Scott Hawley Nomenclature Committee
Lisa Meadows VDRC
Masanobu Itoh DGRC, Kyoto
Toshiyuki Takano-Shimizu DGRC, Kyoto
Kuniaki Saito DGRC, National Institutes of Genetics
Chuck Langley At large
Brian Oliver FlyBase Advisory Board
Andrew Zelhof DGRC, Bloomington
Shinya Yamamoto Human cDNA Transgenic Project & Model Matcher
Oguz Kanca The Genome Disruption Project


Name Office E-mail
Mariana Wolfner GSA Board of Directors
Tin Tin Su GSA Board of Directors
Suzy Brown Senior Director
Tracy DePellegrin Executive Director

Request for FlyBoard Nominations

Request for Fly Board Nominations 2020 (PDF)

Funding Opportunity for Drosophila Outreach

The Drosophila Board invites applications for funding to support efforts to increase trainee participation, equity and diversity in the Drosophila research community. Non-profit programs that introduce middle school, high school or college students to Drosophila research are eligible to apply. Please provide your name, contact information, and a 1-page summary of the program including an explanation of how the program would promote diversity, equity and inclusion among Drosophila scientists, as well as a budget of up to $2000. Applications are due by Dec. 31st 2020 to

White Papers

Drosophila Board White Papers

Drosophila Board White Paper 2021

Drosophila Board White Paper 2016

Drosophila Board White Paper 2012

Drosophila Board White Paper 2009

Drosophila Board White Paper 2007

Drosophila Board White Paper 2005

Drosophila Board White Paper 2003

Drosophila Board White Paper 2001

Other Drosophila Community White Papers

FlyBase White Paper 2021 (PDF)

modENCODE Comparative Genomics White Paper 2009 (PDF)

ENCODE-modENCODE Consortia Data Release Policy White Paper 2008 (PDF)

Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel White Paper 2008 (PDF)

Drosophila ENCODE White Paper 2006 (PDF)

Drosophila BAC White Paper 2003 (PDF)

Genomes White Paper 2003 (PDF)

Simulans Yakuba Genomes White Paper 2003 (PDF)

Simulans Yakuba Genomes White Paper 2002 review (PDF)

Simulans Yakuba Genomes White Paper 2002 (PDF)